Abernathy - Houston-Packer Collection BX9178.A33 S4 1748 v.2

i zo Of Knowledge. SERM. tenfive good of human fociety. But the V. knowledge which the apoftle recommends, is the moft excellent of all, becaufe it directs us to the higheft perfedion of our nature, and the greateft and molt lafting happinefs we are capable of. It is the knowledge of our duty, with the proper motives to it, and the important confequences which depend on our doing or negledting it. If we obferve the con - nedtion of the apoftle's difcourfe, that he has placed knowledge in the middle of the chri- ftian virtues, it will appear plainly enough, that he means a right underftanding of them, fuch a knowledge as is neceffary to our prac- ticing them. Religion is founded in light; it has all of it the charadter of a reafonable fervice ; whatever external appearance there may be of piety, righteoui'neis, or any thing that is praife- worthy, yet if it be without underftanding, it is like the body without the fpirit, dead. Human nature mutt be greatly perverted, as well as religion, when it is founded in ignorance ; for that can produce nothing but fuperftition, which is jult the re- verie of true religion; an unreafonable fervice, or, according to the inftance St. Paul gives in the fuperítition of the Athenians, to an un- known God ; a blind and fervile dread of what